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F-1 to L-1?

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  • F-1 to L-1?

    I am here on F-1, but a company I used to work for back home has offered to start a company here and to hire me to run it to incease their market for their product. They want me to start the corporation and run it, and I can prove I was employed by them in the past three years oversees doing the same thing? I already talked to an corp. lawyer who said he could do the corporation easy, but didn't know if there is anything special I should do that will satisfy INS when they look at my L-1 request. Any ideas on what I can do? I really don't have money to pay the immigration lawyer the retainer he asked for.

  • #2
    I am here on F-1, but a company I used to work for back home has offered to start a company here and to hire me to run it to incease their market for their product. They want me to start the corporation and run it, and I can prove I was employed by them in the past three years oversees doing the same thing? I already talked to an corp. lawyer who said he could do the corporation easy, but didn't know if there is anything special I should do that will satisfy INS when they look at my L-1 request. Any ideas on what I can do? I really don't have money to pay the immigration lawyer the retainer he asked for.

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    • #3
      You'd still have to go back toy our native country to get the L-1 visa.

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      • #4
        ...sorry for the typo,

        to your native country....

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        • #5
          Any special problems that might go with that if I go ahead and start the company, but plan at some point to depart and then re enter under the new status?

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          • #6
            You may be denied the L-1 visa abroad -- if the consular officer thinks you are not really going to the U.S. to engage in business. Yes, there is a certain risk involved if you decide to leave the U.S.

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            • #7
              There are many factors to get your application approved. INS is getting unreasonably quick to reject applications for non-immigrant worker visas. As a person whose petition for L1A was denied and now on appeal, I can say that in addition of having a substantial capital you must employ many people. I currently emlpoy 5 people and that seems to be too few. If you don't even have enough cash for a lawyer, you will have a very hard time. Also another important point that your corp here must be owned by the foreign corp or at least %51 of it. The law does not say that but the INS interprets it that way. Mine was denied for that reason. Good luck.

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              • #8
                I have numerous clients who have changed their nonimmigrant status in the U.S. Although some of the other posts are correct in that the company must be owned by the same people by 51% or more and you have to show that investment capital came from overseas to start the operations. You will need to have worked for the foreign corp for one of that last three years in an upper management position or served as an executive. This information is by no means exhaustive. There are numerous other things to know about filing an L-1A, and I would not try it on my own if I were not intimately familiar with immigration laws & regs.

                Gabriel D. Jack
                Attorney at Law
                gjack@gabejack-law.com

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